Technologies

Banana intercropping in sloping land [Lao People's Democratic Republic]

technologies_2907 - Lao People's Democratic Republic

Completeness: 88%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

land user:

Saylaveng Amyem

020 91693821

Village head

Lahang village, Samouy district of Salavan province

Lao People's Democratic Republic

Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Scaling-up SLM practices by smallholder farmers (IFAD)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) - Lao People's Democratic Republic

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?

04/07/2017

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Yes

1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?

No

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

In mountain regions of Laos Banana cultivated with intercrops during the first year of plantation led to mutually better plant growth by higher availability of soil nutrients and subsequently produces better yield. It also prevents soil erosion, air pollution (reduction of slash and burn cultivation) and it mitigates climate related drought.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology

Description:

The banana provides significant benefits for the households in the uplands of Lao PDR. It serves for own consumption and for selling to generate regular household income. Its leaves are wanted on the market as well and can therefore generate good income too. Besides its low maintenance cost and easy to grow, banana can retain soil moisture and complement with ecology and biodiversity, on condition that its cultivation sustainable. Currently, the banana consumption in the region is increasing and results in banana expansion in the upland areas of Lao PDR. By tradition during the first year of banana plantation the local land users of Samouy district, Saravan province, Lao PDR cultivated banana intercropped with other upland crops (potentially with upland rice and maize) . However, the farmers implemented this cultivation technique without exact planning, measurement, in unorganized rows, or inadequate size of the hole. Also the poor maintenance after planting led to low banana productivity. In 2010, a Project supported by IFAD encouraged local people to grow banana with provision of technical advice through training and implementation. Banana plantation method recommended by the Project is following:1. Site selection: the land area with slope between 10-20 percent and rich loamy soils.2. Spacing and digging of holes: farmers arrange banana plants in lines and rows with spacing of 3m x 3m. 3. Dimension of hole: 25cm x 25cm with a depth of 30cm.3.Soil amendments: If the fertility of soil is low, manure (3 – 5kg/hole) has to be added on the bottom of the holes.4. Intercrops during first year of planation: Between the banana’s rows upland crops can be seeded in regular rows. This helps to prevent soil erosion during the first year.5. Maintenance: Regular thinning and cutting of the banana branches are required after planting to get good yield. Thinning may also involve removal of excess banana suckers if there are more than 3-4 shoots per hole.6. Farmers are required to maintain banana plantation areas including regular weeding as well as soil amendment (animal manure) to promote successful banana production. Covering the soil constantly with banana leaves is one of the most important activities to maintain the soil’s fertility (prevent soil leaching), structure and moisture, to improve the soil life, to lessen the burden of weeding and to prevent soil erosion. Chemical pesticides and fungicides are not foreseen to be used in this practice.7. After harvest of the intercrops: After the first year, when the maize or upland rice has been harvested, banana suckers will be planted in the rows on the remaining space between the one year old banana trees.In summary, this method of banana planting in sloping areas is simple and with average of 3-4 million Kip per household per year it generates good and regular income for the households. Banana provides fruits all year round that can be sold throughout the year whilst demand is also increasing. Currently, the average of the banana plantation area is approximately 10 ha per household. In addition, banana is tolerant to drought. Banana leaves spread over the soil (mulching) keep the soil moist provide best nutrients for soil organisms. And supplement amendment in form of animal manure improves the nutrient recharge. The soil cover improved to some extent from the beginning by the improved intercrop method according to the criteria learned by the project. However, the workload increased due to improved maintenance of banana

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment

Country:

Lao People's Democratic Republic

Region/ State/ Province:

Samouy district of Salavan province

2.6 Date of implementation

Indicate year of implementation:

2010

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • as part of a traditional system (> 50 years)
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

ໂຄງການ ແຜນງານ ຄາໍ້ປະກັນ ສະບຽງອາຫານ ແລະ ໂພສະນາການ (IFAD)

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • create beneficial economic impact

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Cropland

Cropland

  • Perennial (non-woody) cropping
Main crops (cash and food crops):

Banana as perennial (noon-woody crop / upland rice and maize at first year of banana cultivation.

3.3 Further information about land use

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • rotational systems (crop rotation, fallows, shifting cultivation)
  • improved ground/ vegetation cover

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, indicate approximate area covered:
  • 0.1-1 km2

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A1: Vegetation/ soil cover

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Author:

Anousith Namsena

Date:

06/07/2017

4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

1. Site selection: land area with slope range between 10-20 percent and rich loamy soils; 2. Spacing and digging of holes: farmers arrange planting in lines and rows with spacing of 3m x 3m.; dimension of hole: 25cm x 25cm with a depth of 30cm. 3. Soil fertility: If the fertility of soil is low, manure (3 – 5kg/hole) has to be added on the bottom of the hole.4. Intercrops during first year of plantation: Between the banana rows upland intercrops can be seeded. This helps also to prevent soil erosion in the first year.5. Maintenance: Regular thinning and cutting of banana branches are required after planting to get good yield. Thinning may also involve removal of excess banana suckers, if there are more than 3-4 shoots per hole. The
young banana suckers that are removed can be planted in new areas.6. Farmers are required to maintain banana plantation areas including regular manual weeding as well as soil amendment (cow manure) to promote successful banana production. Covering the soil constantly with banana leaves is one of the most important activities to maintain the soil’s fertility (prevent soil leaching), structure and moisture, to improve the soil life, to lessen the burden of weeding and to prevent soil erosion. Chemical pesticides and fungicides are not foreseen to be used in this practice.7. Year after intercropping: After harvest of the crops such as maize or upland rice, banana sucker will be planted in rows on the remaining space between the 1 year old banana trees.

4.3 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology area
Indicate size and area unit:

1ha

other/ national currency (specify):

LAK

Indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (if relevant): 1 USD =:

8000.0

Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

30000

4.4 Establishment activities

Activity Type of measure Timing
1. Slash and clearance vegetations Management January to Febuary
2. Burning for land preparation Management March
3. Digging the holes for the seedlings and planting Vegetative April (before rain)
4. Collecting the banana suckers from forest Management May

4.5 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labour for land preparation person day 70.0 30000.0 2100000.0 100.0
Labour Labour for planting person day 10.0 30000.0 300000.0 100.0
Labour Labour for collecting banana suckers person day 10.0 30000.0 300000.0 100.0
Equipment Knief piece 4.0 30000.0 120000.0 100.0
Equipment Shovel piece 4.0 20000.0 80000.0 100.0
Plant material Banana sucker sucker 60.0 5000.0 300000.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Manure kg 240.0 1000.0 240000.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 3440000.0

4.6 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Type of measure Timing/ frequency
1. Weeding Management 2 times after planting
2. Cutting of banana "branches" Management At different times when necessary
3. Banana harvest Management After one year of planting

4.7 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labour for weeding person day 20.0 30000.0 600000.0 100.0
Labour Labour for cutting of banana "branches" person day 12.0 30000.0 360000.0 100.0
Labour Labour for harvest person day 15.0 30000.0 450000.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 1410000.0

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The most important factors affecting the costs is labour for establishment and maintenance.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Indicate the name of the reference meteorological station considered:

Meteorological Office in Samouy district of Salavan province

Agro-climatic zone
  • humid

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
Landforms:
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:

good

Water quality (untreated):

unusable

Is water salinity a problem?

No

Is flooding of the area occurring?

No

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium
Habitat diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Sedentary
Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
Gender:
  • women
  • men
Age of land users:
  • youth
  • middle-aged

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • large-scale

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

health:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
education:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
markets:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
energy:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts

Production

crop production

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Compared to the traditional cultivation practice the new technology introduced by the IFAD project bear far better banana yield.

crop quality

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

The land users got bigger bananas and the productivity increased comapred to the former cultivation practice.

Income and costs

farm income

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Due to better yield all year round the income from banana selling increased.

workload

increased
decreased
Comments/ specify:

Workload increased do to improved maintenance of the banana cultivation area (weeding, manuring, branch cutting etc).

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

Food security improved due to better banana production that provide enough income to meet other important household needs.

community institutions

weakened
strengthened
Comments/ specify:

Established and strengthened banana producer groups to negotiate with the traders.

Ecological impacts

Soil

soil moisture

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

The banana leaves on soil as mulch improved the soil moisture.

soil cover

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

The soil cover is improved to some extent as both, banana and intercrop (maize and upland rice), are planted according to the criteria learned by the project. Futhermore, banana leaves scattered as mulching material cover the soil now.

soil loss

increased
decreased
Comments/ specify:

Due to better soil cover.

nutrient cycling/ recharge

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Amendment in form of manure and the mulching by banana leaves improved the nutrient recharche.

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

beneficial species

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

The banana plantation and its leaves on soil is good for increase in predators, earthworms, pollinators.

habitat diversity

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Increased micro organism (millipede, earth worn, centipede).

Climate and disaster risk reduction

emission of carbon and greenhouse gases

increased
decreased
Comments/ specify:

Decreased emission of carbon and greenhouse gases from slash and burn shifting cultivation.

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

impact of greenhouse gases

increased
reduced
Comments/ specify:

The improved banana cultivation reduced the slash and burn practice and thus as well the emission of carbon and greenhouse gases.

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season Type of climatic change/ extreme How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase moderately
annual rainfall increase moderately

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought very well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly positive

Long-term returns:

positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly positive

Long-term returns:

positive

Comments:

ສຳລັບ ການບຳລຸງຮັກສາ ມີພຽງແຕ່ ເສຍຫຍ້າ ຊື່ງບໍ່ໄດ້ສີ້ນເປືອງຫຼາຍ ເພາະໃຊ້ພຽງແຕ່ ແຮງງານພາຍໃນຄອບຄົວ

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • more than 50%
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

80 households out of 110 holds within the village hold such kind of banana plantations.

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many have did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 50-90%

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?

No

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
The planting technique promoted by the project was not complicated to be implemented.
Banana plantation became the main source of household income.
Stabilized slash and burn shifting cultivation.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
The land users can harvest bananas during the whole year, that ensure regular income.
The low investment costs for banana plantations.
The banana plantation can contribute to the climate change resilience and to reduce CO2 emission.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Weeding is a problem as it is labour intensive activity and family labour force is limited. The land users have to pay more attention on weeding on time by hiring more labour for weeding activity.
Lack of experience and knowledge for which part of banana trees is the best to cut the banana branches to get the banana productive. The land users require more specific training and field visiting to exchange with other land users who are experienced in good practices.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
The land users have not enough experience by which means they can design the rows and lines exactly with regard to the sloping area before planting. The land users can use plastic rope to measure the length from one hole to another hole.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys

1

  • interviews with land users

1

  • interviews with SLM specialists/ experts

1

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